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- The equipment and other info is taken from the wiki, so it could be wrong or incomplete

- Thanks for everyone who gave me advice, especially Boeroer and Thelee

- I am not the ultimate expert, so I am happy about any feedback I get

 

PILLAR OF ETERNITY, the engaging riposte rock

The idea is simple. You stand there like a rock. You engage as many enemies as possible. They try to hit you but they miss and you get many riposte attacks. Almost all of your attacks heal you.

Version: 5.0

Difficulty: I never played PotD, but I hope it could work

solo: high defense + lots of self heal, it could work (not tested)

 

class: steel garrote paladin / trickster rogue

race: wild orlan ( resolve is your main stat, so you don´t want to lose it)

background: Aedyr, select skills dependent on your equipment

stats:

mig: 14

con: 8

dex: 8

int: 14

per: 14

res: 20

 

talents:

lv1: Flames of devotion, crippling strike (apply affliction without casting)

lv2: deep faith

lv3: lay on hands

lv4: paladin auras, weapon+shield style

lv5: inspiring triumph

lv6: divine purpose

lv7: eternal devotion, riposte !

lv8: dirty fighting

lv9: escape

lv10: exhalted endurance, persistent distraction !

lv11: tumbling

lv12: adept evasion

lv13: rightous soul, deep wounds

lv14: iron gut

lv15: clear head

lv16: virtous triumph, slippery mind

lv17: bears endurance

lv18: snakes reflexes

lv19: stoic steel, deathblows !

lv20: bulls will

profiencies: large shield, spear, club

 

equipment:

weapon1: Kapana Taga (club, crush/slash damage, daze on hit, +damage per engaged enemy, +2 engagement, immunity to flanked)

weapon 2: stalkers patience (spear, +1 engagement with modal, hamstringing, wounding, extra damage against flanked targets (just engaging flanks them, scales with stealth)

shield: Akola´s Apex Ward or Wintertide Bulwark (both can proc an attack when missed in melee)

head: Blackened Plate Helm (+engagement) or Champion´s Helm (+riposte)

Neck: Token of Faith (+2 resolve)

armor: Reckless Brigandine (+engagement, +attack speed per ennemy engaged, Into the Breach (damage+AR up when health down)

rings: Entonias Signet Ring, Ring of Protection

shoes: Boots of the Stone, Boots of speed if you wish to provoke disengagement attacks

cape: Cape of greater Deflection

hands: Bracers of greater Deflection

belt: Upright Captain´s Belt

pet: Nalvi (+1 resolve, reduced armor penalty)

 

Why???

Steel Garrote paladins heal themselves when they damage a target that has any affliction, rogues are good in causing affliction and with persistent distraction you afflict them just by engaging them. Paladins have high defenses and Tricksters can improve defense even more with wizard spells. If you get missed in melee you can have a riposte attack, an instant full attack without recovery. If you have several sources of riposte like effects, all of them can proc on a missed melee attack (talent, champions helm, shield). So I chose to maximize my defense and engagement slots to engage (and afflict) all enemies around me to provoke riposte attacks that heal me. The club (Kapana Taga) is fantastic. Two damage types, +2 engagements and immunity to being flanked (-10 deflection) and the club modal reduces will. You could use this to terrify enemies around you to provoke disengagement attacks. For enemies with weaknes to pierce attacks use a spear+modal and stalkers patience is the best spear. The spear modal penalty (- walking speed) is meaningless because of large shield modal. You cannot move, but you take 50% less damage from ranged and reflex attacks. Thanks to the belt you cannot be moved by enemies and stoic steel improves your AR when standing still. You can still move a bit with escape and this does not count as moving, so protective effects do not end.

If you wish to be a bit more active you could move around to provoke disengagement attacks from enemies. If they miss they can proc riposte from you. If you think your defense is high enough without shield you could equip Whispers of the endless path and upgrade it to defensive parry. You attack several enemies at once and attacks that miss you proc AoE riposte from you and all of these attacks can heal you.

I selected the talents and equipment as defensive as possible. On lower difficulties or if you still feel save without them you could replace some defensive talents with more offensive ones. I am not sure if sacred immolation would heal you much if several enemies around you have an affliction. You need guile for wizard spells so there is no need for active rogue abilities. Paladins may want sworn enemy and abilities that assist the party. Practiced healer does NOT increase healing from drain effects, like Steel Garrote attacking afflicted enemies.

It is strongly recommanded to play in rtwp mode. In rtwp enemies need to roll a 31 to graze, in turn based a 1 is enough.

Edit: Changed cape because you can get cape of greater deflection also without Beraths Blessing.

 

Edited by Madscientist
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some alternate approaches (i'm not saying these are better than what you have, just things for others to consider as possible tweaks).

 

armor - casita samelia's legacy. gives you +5 deflection, plus +.25 deflection per point of intimidate.

ring - ring of (greater) deflection; either +2 or +4 deflection

back - cloak of greater deflection for +7 deflection.

 

for weapons, it might be fun to dual-wield hatchet - xoti's sickle and acolyte's. the +3 melee deflection bonus stacks, and the -10 accuracy from modal is effectively another +10 deflection for yourself. this hurts your dps a lot though, so maybe one hatchet (xoti's) with modal on plus kapana taga or a heavy hitter like an axe with bleeding cuts.

 

for abilities, it might also be fun to consider glorious beacon. blinded affliction provides an additional -10 acc penalty (doesn't stack with hatchet debuff) that acts as another way to boost your defenses.

 

for pet, might be worth considering ooblit. the +3s duration plus escape after many power levels means being able to spam for +50 unconditional deflection (unlike arcane veil which is +50 except against veil-piercing) can almost make you into god-mode. only worth doing this if you're in a situation where mirror image isn't good enough (or has been suppressed).

 

lastly, riposte can also trigger full attacks from ranged weapons. if you have a hand-mortar in your offhand, you can trigger aoe attacks as part of your riposte (works real great in dense fights, though be warned that you need a decent GPU to keep up with all the explosions).

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Thanks

- According to the wiki ( I do not know the location of all items) you can get the cloak of greter protection only if you activate the merchant from Beraths Blessing and there is no ring of greater deflection. At least I did not find a ring of greater deflection so far, only the minor one. For the cape, +7 deflection against everything is absolutely better than +5 against ranged attacks but I was not sure if it is fair to add stuff you can only get via achievements.

- Is there any reason NOT to wear heavy armor in this game? Having 3 more AR than PEN means -75% damage taken. Unless you know exactly the PEN of every enemy it sounds like a good idea to maximize AR. The armor you mentioned looks good. It can even make a counter attack when being hit with slash weapons, which fits nice to this build.

- If you have a melee weapon in one hand and a ranged weapon in the other, do you get the defense penalty because ranged weapons are unfit for melee? Personally I stick with weapon+shield for the style, even if other things can be useful too. Plus I got an old PC.

- Dagger or hatchet with modal would be very defensive, but you have to kill enemies to win the fight, surviving is not enough. Are modals that reduce damage just another modifier or does it reduce the total damage ( first you add all damage and then you reduce this number by x%) or does it even reduce base damage?

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36 minutes ago, Madscientist said:

- According to the wiki ( I do not know the location of all items) you can get the cloak of greter protection only if you activate the merchant from Beraths Blessing and there is no ring of greater deflection. At least I did not find a ring of greater deflection so far, only the minor one. For the cape, +7 deflection against everything is absolutely better than +5 against ranged attacks but I was not sure if it is fair to add stuff you can only get via achievements.

i believe you have to activate the berath's blessing merchant to get the ring of greater deflection.

you can get a cloak of greater deflection. the way to do it is to rescue the lone adventurer in old city, then pay him a visit in port maje afterwards. it's not an official task or quest or anything, but he gives you a cloak of greater deflection and some jewels iirc. (my current run definitely does not have berath's blessing merchant enabled and my mainchar has the cloak.)

 

36 minutes ago, Madscientist said:

Is there any reason NOT to wear heavy armor in this game? Having 3 more AR than PEN means -75% damage taken. Unless you know exactly the PEN of every enemy it sounds like a good idea to maximize AR. The armor you mentioned looks good. It can even make a counter attack when being hit with slash weapons, which fits nice to this build.

heavy armor is extremely slow. plus, while +3 AR vs PEN sounds great on paper, on PotD with upscaling, heavy armor can actually not be very effective, especially early on, because enemies have +2 bonus PEN from PotD which can safely put them out of underpen range unless you have things like hardy/robust or spirit shield active and/or coupled with PEN debuffs (dazed mostly). add to that, heavy armor is extremely weak (as weak as medium armor) to two damage types, so depending on the context heavy armor doesn't get you any advantages over medium armor and only downsides (much slower recovery). with lots of buff/debuffing and enchantment/looting heavy armor eventually becomes aces for survivability, but imo is decidedly kinda mediocre at first (except to specifically metagame certain encounters). also, due to the increasing returns nature of deflection, the +9/10 deflection of casita samelia's legacy can be worth literally +infinite AR.

edit - imo, for potd+upscaling, armor is mostly about managing overpen for much of the game, until you start leveling enough that upscaling can't keep up with your improving enchants/gear (~level 10-12 or so). for much of the game my rule-of-thumb for armor types is:
cloth: "i'm ok with with being overpen-ed by virtually everything"
light: "i'd rather not be overpen-ed, and i'll take my overpen chances with spells [depending on armor]"
medium: "no overpen anywhere exept on crits, with the option of like -25% damage every once and a while with buffs and support"
heavy: "i want a little bit of survivability, with the option to become a god with lots of support"

 

36 minutes ago, Madscientist said:

- If you have a melee weapon in one hand and a ranged weapon in the other, do you get the defense penalty because ranged weapons are unfit for melee? Personally I stick with weapon+shield for the style, even if other things can be useful too. Plus I got an old PC.

i don't know actually. but of the dual-wieldable ranged weapons only wand has a -10 unfit for melee penalty. so you can safely keep hand mortars in your off-hand.

 

36 minutes ago, Madscientist said:

- Dagger or hatchet with modal would be very defensive, but you have to kill enemies to win the fight, surviving is not enough. Are modals that reduce damage just another modifier or does it reduce the total damage ( first you add all damage and then you reduce this number by x%) or does it even reduce base damage?

dagger modal wouldn't be great, because the +10 deflection would be overridden by all the vastly superior defensive buffs a trickster can get (escape, mirror image, llengrath's displaced image)

the modals that reduce damage are just like another modifier, but it undergoes inversions, so -25% penalty can cancel up to +33% worth of buffs. i did mention that having two hatches might be really bad for dps (-25% damage on an already low-damage weapon), but a rogue is better positioned than other classes to have that modal on all the time since their sneak attack bonus can get huge and overwhelm the penalty. 

i mostly bring it up because a combined net +16 deflection bonus (+3 times two from dual hatchets, plus the effect of -10 accuracy on enemies you hit/riposte with them) could potentially give you such a huge survivability boost that it might be worth the reduced DPS (and it might not be that much of a reduced DPS if you're riposte-ing more because the enemy misses a lot more).

Edited by thelee
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10 minutes ago, Madscientist said:

According to Boeroer, dagger modal and mirror image stack because dagger is against melee only while mirror image works against everything. I did not test this.

boy oh boy, if this is true i've been under-utilizing my high-deflection character setups.

unless boeroer speaks up to confirm for sure, this definitely needs testing. there are two ways this bonus could be implemented - as a +10 deflection bonus that is conditional against melee, or a +10 deflection bonus vs melee. sounds subtle, but the former is the same "type" of bonus as a mirror image bonus, just conditoinal, and would get overriden. the latter would be a different "type" of bonus and would stack.

i ran into a similar surprise when someone (boeroer again?) pointed out that the +15 all defenses bonus from things like circle of protection or symbol of eothas stacked with deflection bonuses. (the difference between "+15 to deflection, +15 to will, +15 to fort, +15 to reflex" vs "+15 to all" if that makes sense)

Edited by thelee
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It used to. Once had a Paladin/Wizard with that setup. I haven't played that for a looong time though so it might have changed. Am not at my desk for another week so somebody else would need to check.

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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20 hours ago, Boeroer said:

It used to. Once had a Paladin/Wizard with that setup. I haven't played that for a looong time though so it might have changed. Am not at my desk for another week so somebody else would need to check.

just tested; can confirm that dagger modal is a standard deflection bonus that is conditional, which means it does not stack with things like arcane veil or mirror image.

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Aw man. Sorry. Thanks for testing. 

Do I misremember so badly or was it a melee-only bonus at some point? Or was I confusing it with hatchets in my mind?

Yet another case that shows that weapon modals should have been classified as passive, not active effects.

Now after the first "damn" I just thought about using the Gladiator's Sword (+5 stackable deflection with Skrim) as a somewhat decent compromise between offense and defense when it comes to Riposte...? Skrim only works with a shield though - but maybe... maybe Skrim also works with weapons that can only be put in the shield slot? Like St. Drogga's Skull? Never tried... guess not, but worth a try?

Other alternatives for the offhand are Kapana Taga and Squid's Grasp (both can grant immunity to flanked), hatchets (+3 against melee and modal reduces enemies' ACC), Duskfall (+10 stackable deflection at the start of combat for 8 seconds). Maybe something else?

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Yes, the gladiator sword would be a good idea for early game.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Regarding defense: If I understand you correctly, high defenses (def, fort, ref, will) are more importent for survival than armor?

Of course, when the enemy cannot hit you your armor does not matter. I do not know the maximum defense this char could get and I do not know the maximum acc of endgame enemies, but I guess it would be hard to have 100 more defense than enemy acc in every case. A paladin combined with a full caster (wizard, priest of wael) might get even more defense but they lack the ability to heal themselves just by damaging engaged enemies. I guess it is very useful to be able to heal yourself without spending resources, but you still have to hit and damage the enemy to do so.

If you play with a full party, I guess it will be hard to give every char very high defenses and sometimes enemies are intelligent enough to attack chars with weak defenses. When there are many enemies its almost impossible for your tanks to block the path for all of them and there are enemies who can teleport themselves or abduct your chars. Well, often they just run after the first thing they see  and block each others path in doing so. My record of enemy dumbness was a ship combat where the enemy walked to a char at the other end of the screen and died from getting 3 disengagement attacks from 3 different chars in a row. (in turn based, so my chars were just standing there).

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In PotD high level enemies have over 100ACC and it's really difficult to maintain your defenses over 150 for very long. The riposte is just some free damage from time to time, it helps mostly vs trash mobs and in the end it will represent maybe 10% of your own damage. If you want to tank in Deadfire you need to have good defenses and passive healing, while your armor should be always higher than enemies penetration.

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I do not play PotD, especially not up scaled with mega bosses. At the moment I play turn based on normal for the first time and its very easy. Maybe I use this char on veteran next time. I lack the masochism to make my life harder just to say that I have beaten a game on the highest difficulty level.

Having high defenses plus some form of passive healing should make things easier in any case, that why I made this build.

Edited by Madscientist
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10 hours ago, Madscientist said:

Regarding defense: If I understand you correctly, high defenses (def, fort, ref, will) are more importent for survival than armor?

i wouldn't say it's "more important", it's a parallel source of survivability.

i said that defenses have increasing returns, which means that you get rewarded for heavily investing in deflection. (the flip side is that if you have low deflection, a few points extra of deflection will feel notably weak). but you can get even more survivability if you combine high deflection with always forcing your enemy to underpenetrate, it's not necessarily either-or. though typically in my PotD+upscale experience it is rather hard to get enemies to consistently underpenetrate even heavy armor until mid-late to late game. it is different for veteran or lower, with no upscaling.

since your character build here is a riposte build that already focuses on maximizing deflection, heavy armor seems redundant because you'll typically have enormously high deflection, especially on difficulties lower than PotD. while i suggested casita samelia's legacy as an alternative choice, you probably don't really even need that for veteran or classic.

for example, my current party on PoTD+upscaling, my mainchar is a celebrant 20 resolve, superb small shield (xoti's lantern) with weapon+shieldstyle, cloak of greater deflection setup (no entonia signet ring or ring of deflection) and they can get away with just wearing robe and they typically have much better survivability than my two actual, heavier-armor wearing tankier types (a monk and a skald); if my mainchar is getting way too much attention i can cast arcane veil or mirror image and be basically untouchable for a short while. but they sorta melt if damaging spells are being tossed around, so it's a bit of a trade-off.

Edited by thelee
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 2/26/2020 at 6:11 PM, thelee said:

for example, my current party on PoTD+upscaling, my mainchar is a celebrant 20 resolve, superb small shield (xoti's lantern) with weapon+shieldstyle

I'd like to start a POTD upscaled run with a Priest of Eothas, continuing my imported save with the POE1 "good-y" world state and hoping for some nice RP along the way... My priest in POE1 was a tanky orlan with maxed resolve, buffing and nuking all the way through upscaled POTD there, as well. Never played another difficulty in POE1, also completed Ultimate achievement (Fire Godlike monk), but didn't like the bad implementation of upscaling in Deadfire if you try to play the game organically like I did in POE1. Also been reading about priests not being as good in Deadfire as SC (mediocre 8, 9 PL) and wanted to have some fun with the MC route with a class that complements it well, so Psion or Troubadour felt the best choices for me regarding class economy and party support. I'd really be interested in your Celebrant build with regards to that!

As for the topic at hand, I did have the same idea to do this character for my "evil-y" run afterwards, using my import with POE1 Woedica zealot.  I tried it out for a bit with a wild orlan, max resolve with sandals, rings+cloak of deflection, sword and shield style, plate armor and blunting belt, all before the enbgwithian ruins at start in POTD upscaled, about 70+ deflection... Still got hit and died in under 10s if I had a panther and a couple of ranged wurms hitting me. I guess it gets better later on with itemization, however it really does seem like this difficulty setup is all about killing things before they get to land a hit on you instead of trying to tank and riposte/retaliate (barb)?

Edited by Sharidin
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  • 7 months later...
On 2/24/2020 at 1:16 PM, thelee said:

some alternate approaches (i'm not saying these are better than what you have, just things for others to consider as possible tweaks).

 

armor - casita samelia's legacy. gives you +5 deflection, plus +.25 deflection per point of intimidate.

ring - ring of (greater) deflection; either +2 or +4 deflection

back - cloak of greater deflection for +7 deflection.

 

for weapons, it might be fun to dual-wield hatchet - xoti's sickle and acolyte's. the +3 melee deflection bonus stacks, and the -10 accuracy from modal is effectively another +10 deflection for yourself. this hurts your dps a lot though, so maybe one hatchet (xoti's) with modal on plus kapana taga or a heavy hitter like an axe with bleeding cuts.

 

for abilities, it might also be fun to consider glorious beacon. blinded affliction provides an additional -10 acc penalty (doesn't stack with hatchet debuff) that acts as another way to boost your defenses.

 

for pet, might be worth considering ooblit. the +3s duration plus escape after many power levels means being able to spam for +50 unconditional deflection (unlike arcane veil which is +50 except against veil-piercing) can almost make you into god-mode. only worth doing this if you're in a situation where mirror image isn't good enough (or has been suppressed).

 

lastly, riposte can also trigger full attacks from ranged weapons. if you have a hand-mortar in your offhand, you can trigger aoe attacks as part of your riposte (works real great in dense fights, though be warned that you need a decent GPU to keep up with all the explosions).

Is there a ring of "greater" deflection? I've never seen one, and the Wiki doesn't list it.

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Just now, Boeroer said:

Nope. You can use the Entonia Signet ring to raise your deflection: every enemy that engages you will give you more defenses, including deflection. 

I've been testing the Signet, and the problem was that the bonus seems to activate only when the enemy engages, not when my tank engages. And since I've got like 6 engagement slots (and I tend to pull everything in with Lower their Guard), the Signet effectively ends up doing nothing...

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As I said: every enemy who engages you - not the other way round. It does nothing if the enemy can't engage. For example if the enemy is a beast or just a kith with no engagement slots. Once you fight against enemies that do engage (and those are usually the tough ones) you'll get the bonus. 

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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4 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

As I said: every enemy who engages you - not the other way round. It does nothing if the enemy can't engage. For example if the enemy is a beast or just a kith with no engagement slots. Once you fight against enemies that do engage (and those are usually the tough ones) you'll get the bonus. 

I am not saying you misrepresented the item. I am saying that it does not seem to activate much if you have a tank who already has tons of Engagements and use them up actively yourself! ;)

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Engagements don't get used up. Player and enemy don't compete for engagement slots. Enemies can still engage you no matter how many engagements slots you have. 

Like here with Edér and a Xaurip Champion (note the green arrow which is Edér's engagement and the red one which is the Xaurip's) :
engangement_back_forth.png?dl=1

Nothing you do with your own engagement will influence the ability of enemies to engage you. Enemies only lose engagement if you have some sort of immunity (see Grog pet or Barb's Threatening Presence and such) or if you apply an effect that prevents them from engaging (like Staggered for example).

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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6 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

Engagements don't get used up. Player and enemy don't compete for engagement slots. Enemies can still engage you no matter how many engagements slots you have. 

Like here with Edér and a Xaurip Champion (note the green arrow which is Edér's engagement and the red one which is the Xaurip's) :
engangement_back_forth.png?dl=1

Nothing you do with your own engagement will influence the ability of enemies to engage you. Enemies only lose engagement if you have some sort of immunity (see Grog pet or Barb's Threatening Presence and such) or if you apply an effect that prevents them from engaging (like Staggered for example).

Ah, ok. Thanks a bunch! So it is useful, and I guess I was fighting enemies who couldn't engage when I tested it. Or perhaps it didn't stack with Vigorous Defense?

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9 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

It stacks with everything afaik. It's very useful against hordes of engaging enemies but pretty useless against single tough foes.

Yeah, that is another strike against it. It's basically just another Ring of Minor Deflection plus 2 of each defenses against a boss type.

Edit: It's really difficult to balance between building for the Zerg or the boss - just like the Swift Flurry v. Lightning Strikes issue I asked yesterday.

Edited by Lampros
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22 minutes ago, Lampros said:

Edit: It's really difficult to balance between building for the Zerg or the boss - just like the Swift Flurry v. Lightning Strikes issue I asked yesterday.

when it comes to gear, sometimes it's worth just having both sets of items and changing before hte fight. i do that with e.g. marux amanth.

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